Music Review: ‘Good Newwz’
Debutant director Raj Mehta gets his hands on a strong cast of Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani for his first release ‘Good Newwz’ coming to the cinemas for the new year holidays. Produced by Karan Johar the film is the goof up of the year with two couples dealing with an IVF mix up at the clinic. A complete chaotic comic adventure, the trailers do bring out the story quite well setting up good expectations from this movie. For a cool and young couples movie this film should have a good commercial soundtrack that should have the typical party numbers, fun romantic numbers and perhaps some comic songs too. The album is a mix and match with a whole load of producers, lyricists, singers and musicians coming together to end the year with a banging music album.
The first single Chandigarh Mein is as expected a big party number with some killer beats. In the words of Karan Johan who opens the song this is an original (not a remake) and that is a refreshing change! Tanishk Bagchi is the man behind the massive beats of this song with a composition that is sticky is Fevicol! The tempo is super groovy and the melody mash up with mandolin, dhol with synthetic beats and a Karnatic style shennai is something very innovative and superbly programmed instrumentation. The mix of strings, beats, keys and trumpets is common to almost every song but his creative imagination of putting these specific instruments together leads to an epic dance tune that can become a hit throughout India mixing the Punjabi vibes to Southern Karnatic vibes. Bagchi even has written the lyrics that are not rocket science but terrific for a cheesy party number like this one. Badshah breaks in to yet another typical rap segment that he is known for and does as good a job as he did in his first biggie Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai. He is in his element with a well written & stylish rap that jells well with the vocals of Harrdy Sandhu, Lisa Mishra and Asees Kaur. Kaur rules with the hook chorus segment and sounds super sexy while Sandhu is the star of the song leading a really fun vocal here. The video has some cute moments with good choreography and excellent styling. The foursome are looking great and the whole setup with lights and chandeliers works. But still the Mandolin is still the real hero of the song! This is a sure shot hit and perhaps the biggest party tune for the end of the year parties. If nothing else Bagchi will have all of Chandigarh grooving to this song in every car with their windows down! 4/5
Capitalising on the timing of the film with the wedding season in India, the next single Sauda Khara Khara is a remake of the original Bhangra king of India – Sukhbir’s hit who back in the day took Punjabi music to the masses like no one else! Kumaar puts in a good amount of new lyrics to create brand new stanzas while only using the chorus of Sukhbir’s 1999 hit. The lyrics are very vibrant with a strong romantic factor making it fit for a wedding scene. There is a strong touch of attitude and tease to the lyrics as well that makes it playfully fun to listen to but while keeping it super simple hinging strongly on the chorus. The music by Lijo George – DJ Chetas has a strong Punjabi tinge to it as expected for a wedding song.. while Sukhbir has added in the hooks and fast dhol beats from his original. There is a good amount of musical variation in the song that keeps the listener constantly engaged. The interesting twist to the song is that instead of Sukhbir, Dosanjh leads the vocal here with Dhvani Bhanushali while Sukhbir sticks to the chorus. Dosanjh gives a nice folkish Punjabi touch giving it more of a Bhangra touch while Bhanushali brings the attitude and sass to her vocal. The video is colorful and well executed with Advani bringing in the hot moves. All in all a decent good party number for the season ahead and it is good to see Sukhbir back in style. But it is not the best wedding number on the block not the best remake you would have heard this year. It does sound like one is trying a little hard to impress with this number. 3/5
B Praak delivers Maana Dil next which is a sad romantic number. His voice is deep and piercing. Having a strong voice as his for this song gives a different dimension to the song making the message of the lyrics very effective. His vocal is fabulous and especially on the chorus it resonates strongly with the emotions of the words. Rashmi Virag have written such lyrics that are very well structured around the rhymes and the flow is gorgeous. They capture a mix bag of emotions that represent the ups and downs in a relationship and the heart break that the words represent really can be felt through Praak’s voice. Bagchi keeps the song bare bones with a simple acoustic guitar, violins in the background and some soothing mandolin towards the end so as to let Praak’s voice travel deeper. He focuses more so on the arrangement which is very nice and has an easy flow to it. Overall this is a beautiful number that should help make Praak a bigger star than he is currently in Bollywood. 3.5/5
Remake of the 2004 Bhangra banger Laal Ghaghra the next song release of this album is yet another Punjabi wedding dancefloor blazer. The RDB and Sahara collaboration from the early 2000s was an instant hit with its high tempo and strong Bhangra beats. Bagchi has brought back Sahara & Manj Musik of RDB to remake this hit one with a slightly stronger Punjabi touch from Bollywood standards. The music is strongly based on dhol beats, clarinets with constant hoye hoye shouts to keep it rather traditional. The tempo seems to have been slowed down to make it more palatable for commercial Bollywood listeners. Sahara is as good as back in 2004 with his vocal while Manj seems like a useless addition to the song while Neha Kakkar is best new thing added on. Her vocal is rather charismatic considering the glamorous Kapoor delivers it on screen. The additional lyrics bring in a bit more fun to the song while keeping it easy to sing along to. A good wedding party remake but the original still wins it hands-down on this one. 3.5/5
Dil Na Jaaneya is composed by Rochak Kohli & American singer Lauv with both also delivering the backing vocals. A modern pop romantic song, this is an exciting number to listen to with a mix of English and Hindi party. While Lauv delivers a breezy clean English vocals at the start, Akasa really rules the song with her female lead vocals. Her tonality is really good and her vocal is lighter than a feather on the ears. She delivers her vocal with an urban style while the harmonies she renders are so worth a listen! Kohli is a master of a modern urban sound for Bollywood and this collaboration with Lauv on music has a very nice balance to it between delivering a global sound with a Bollywood touch. The use of plucked guitars for the initial part keeping the melody rather exposed with the drum pad synthetic beat only coming in after about 90 secs. He even carefully plans the drops in the music bringing in a nice progression to the song. Lyrics by Gurpreet Saini, Ari Leff and Michael Pollock have a nice vibe to them with a soothing arrangement of words. The mix of languages works very well for the message of song as it goes from English to Hindi to a Punjabi hook line. On a whole this is an easy on the ears, very melodic song that is a must listen. It is not the big leading song and is overshadowed by the big leading songs of the album which might keep this from scaling up in popularity, but we like it! 4/5
The Punjabi flavour continues with Zumba next in the super crisp voice of Romy. The delivery is just perfect in every aspect. He delivers that crude Punjabi rustic voice with a lot of dynamic range to it and excitement that makes it an easy song to enjoy. Bagchi’s programming on the music is very good as he blends in Dhol and tumbi effortlessly with urban beats to create an actual desi Zumba exercise song. Not just Zumba but the composition also works well in the club setting and even the Punjabi wedding circuit with its strong beat pattern, upbeat melody and ‘bhangra ta sajda’ lyrics. Vayu keeps the lyrics very simple as if delivering exercise instructions almost making it a perfect participation dance song. The overall arrangement is very well executed making this a multidimensional song that just works and is a lot of fun to listen to! 4/5
Arijit Singh’s take on Dil Na Jaaneya (Unplugged) is a beautiful acoustic version with very smooth guitar work and smoother vocals from Singh. Saini’s different lyrics with a lot more Punjabi this time gives the song is different dimension compared to the original. The choice of words is warmer and has a soulful depth to it that with Singh’s vocals creates a melodic love story that is easy to picture while listening with eyes closed. The adlibs that Singh delivers are so unique to him and create a pleasant vibe worth listening to. The same song but in two different versions that are both equally impressable. 4/5
Finally the Good Newwz Theme music is the result of collaboration between Bagchi and Kshmr. The music is a mashup of Punjabi with urban deep bass style and the music works. It has a cool vibe about it that is positive and uplifiting. The programming is nice with a lot of instruments thrown in. A good music piece to end the album with on a high note. 3.5/5
The soundtrack of ‘Good Newwz’ is an exciting one to say the least. This is one album that is commercially polished and delivers high value entertainment going from one song to the other. For an upbeat celebratory theme to the movie, the music translates and matches well with it with all the fun it oozes through its songs. Dance theme is quite strong in the album with Chandigarh Mein, Sauda Khara Khara, Zumba, Laal Ghaghra all delivering easily danceable music be it in the clubs or wedding parties. Bagchi’s contribution is paramount to the album with five of eight songs to his credit collaborating with a huge range of artists from Badshah to Harrdy Sandhu, B Praak, Romy, Neha Kakkar and Sahara. The album gets its remakes right but the originals are the real big deal with Chandigarh Mein and Zumba being the star songs to check out. As good as the dance genre is, the romantic genre is equally strong with Dil Na Jaaneya being an easy favourite and also Maana Dil catering to the heartbreak music genre. The vocal and lyrical talent is just brilliant on the album and key to its success with the likes of Rashmi Virag, Vayu, Gurpreet Saini and Badshah impressing on their respective songs. Overall this album is a great collaborative effort with good hand-picked commercial music. The strong Punjabi vibes consistently flow through the songs making it sound like a genuine soundtrack making this a proper entertaining album and definitely worth having as an album on all playlists.
BizAsiaLive.com Rating – 4/5
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.